Tell Your MP “We Can Do Better”
A Message from UCA President Stuart McMillan
As followers of Christ, our faith calls us to love our neighbour and welcome the stranger.
We have particular responsibility to challenge unjust systems and speak on behalf of those who are marginalised and in exile.
Right now, it is harder than ever for refugees and people seeking asylum to find a safe place to live and to rebuild their lives.
Australia’s policies are making it tougher for families living in detention or in the community to gain their right to protection.
I am thankful to many in the Uniting Church who are already doing so much to support refugees, through practical and pastoral care, prayer and advocacy.
As we approach Refugee Week from 17-23 June, I encourage Uniting Church members to think about how they can tell those in Government that we can do better for refugees.
In the lead up to the next election, all major parties will be re-assessing their policy position on this issue.
Visit your local MP and share your desire for a more compassionate and humane response to refugees and people seeking asylum.
The more people in our community who speak up on this issue, the more likely we are to create a real opportunity for change.
When we advocate for others in this way, we give life to our faith in Jesus.
We are reminded in the Uniting Church’s Statement on refugees Shelter from the Storm
When advocacy and service are done with integrity, and as a proclamation of the Gospel, the Church bears witness to Christ, and enters fully into the faith and mission of the whole Christian church.
Together, as members of the body of Christ, may we seek a just society that upholds the dignity of every person where all can have hope for a decent peace-filled life for themselves and their families.
The resources below identify some of the key issues of concern and tips for visiting your local MP.
What else can you do?
Here are two prayers you might like to share during Refugee Week.
God of hospitality and refuge, come to us here in this place of security and safety. Remind us that you are the God Almighty; large enough for all people, all nations, all tongues. Help us, with the presence of your Holy Spirit, to be able to create space for those who seek asylum and refuge. In the name of Jesus, your Son.
Wise and compassionate God, help us to be willing to respond to the needs of refugees and asylum-seekers and not simply seek to shift the burden of care onto others. Call our leaders to justice, generosity and compassion. Help them create and implement strategies that are fair and just and treat refugees and asylum-seekers with dignity and care. O God, our comforter, we ask you to comfort the broken-hearted and protect the vulnerable. We pray for those who are in detention at this time, and for those who face removal to an uncertain future. We pray for those who struggle to buy food and to find secure housing And for those experiencing stress and mental anguish. We ask you to assure them of your great love, surround them with your presence and fill them with your peace.
From Justice for Asylum Seekers: A Prayer Resource prepared by the Assembly Working Group on Worship.
Refugee Week is a celebration of the positive contributions refugees have made to Australian Society. People from across the world have found safety in Australia. Hearing their stories reminds us that these powerful people are defined by so much more than their past.
Meet Bashar and his family who have started a new life in Australia with support from Bankstown Uniting Church
Drop into the Assembly Office, Level 10, 222 Pitt St Sydney, to pick up a copy of the Refugee Week 2018 poster.
Visit the Refugee Week website for more information and events you can attend across the country.